6 Inspiring, Feel-Good Documentaries That Prompt Real Change
They can make you laugh, bring out your smile, educate you and permanently alter the way you relate to and understand the world. Documentaries are power.
Through an uncanny ability to highlight topics, raise awareness and expose truths, documentaries are powerful tools for understanding topics beyond the obvious. “There’s real power in a documentary, and there’s real power in movies to begin with.” says popular documentary filmmaker, Morgan Spurlock. “Movies transcend culture; they transcend countries, and to be able to have something that can create global awareness is necessary today.” Gain a greater awareness, put a smile on your face, and become the change with these six inspiring documentaries.
Winner of 18 film festival awards, ‘SEED: The Untold Story’, is a thought-provoking look at the David and Goliath battle being waged to defend the future of our food and planet. With a staggering 94% reduction in seed variety, join prominent activists including Vandana Shiva and Dr. Jane Goodall, as they work diligently to seed the change and tell the stories of seed keepers fighting to protect our centuries old food legacy and reconnect us all to this small, but massively significant, natural resource.
Living on One Dollar
You cannot know another’s struggles until you have lived a day in their life. The filmmakers of ‘Living on One Dollar’, Chris and Zach, decided to put their money where their mouths are and lived two months in rural Guatemala on just a dollar a day. Watch their struggles and hardships and meet the people that gave them hope to carry on. Recognized as the Best Documentary at the Sonoma International Film Festival, this documentary will inspire you to put up $1 to help put things in perspective and end global poverty.
Tom Shadyac, director of Hollywood films including Ace Ventura Pet Detective, in just a blink of an eye, experienced an eye-opening accident. He realized that he went from having it all, to having it all wrong. With this thought in his mind, he set out to make a film that asked the most significant minds of today two questions: What’s wrong with the world? and What can we do about it? Through interviews and discussions, the emergent story is sure to put a smile on your face as you learn we are far grander than we’ve been told. Learn more about what’s right with the world and help organizations that are righting wrongs.
Though many people claim that happiness is elusive, it is certainly one of our most prized emotions and you, like most of us, are probably actively searching for a little more. ‘Happy’, winner of 8 film festival awards, went out to explore happiness. What brings people happiness? Are you living in a world that promotes happy feelings? Director, Roko Belic, set out to various locations around the world to answer these questions and uncover the secrets to happiness. Bring more happiness into your life today by making happiness a priority.
The Mask You Live In
If you’re a man who grew up in America, chances are high that you’ve been told to ‘stop crying like a girl’ or to ‘man up’ when expressing your emotions. ‘The Mask You Live In’ offers an intriguing look at the narrowing definition of masculinity in America and the resulting boy crisis that results from negotiating how to grow from boy to man in a culture that pushes hypermasculinity. This film offers insight into how raising all boys to find their true identity and connect with their emotions will make the world a better, safer place for boys and girls. Join the movement that’s helping to unravel the missing piece to realizing true gender equality.
Second Chance Dogs
‘Second Chance Dogs’, filmed and directed by animal welfare advocate, Kenn Bell, tells the story of dogs who have a second chance after surviving brutal conditions from puppy mills to animal hoarding. Often scarred and traumatized, their anxiety makes them unable to adjust to the real world. But, the committed staff at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehab Center takes them from rescue to rehabilitation through patience, innovative techniques and pure determination. After falling in love with these brave dogs, learn today how you can advocate for dogs that deserve a second chance.
Get comfy and watch one of these documentaries to learn something new and get inspired. Visit the films’ websites to make a donation that supports their work. Absorb the information and continue the conversation with other like-minded people when you connect to the filmmakers and their followers through social media. When something sparks your passion, realize you too can become active and volunteer your time and energy to local organizations that are working to realize positive change.